New Zealand-based CentrePort is to seek consent by mid-2015 to dredge the shipping channel in Wellington harbour, in order for the port to accommodate ships almost twice the size of those currently handled by increasing the present draught from 11.5 m to 14.5 m.
The project, which has been estimated to cost up to NZ$40m (US$29.5m), would require 8.6m cubic metres of material to be dredged from two sections of the channel, at the harbour entrance and alongside the quay. Once completed, the port would become one of the few hub ports in the country capable of handling the larger ships now being cascaded down from other trades.
“Our view is that New Zealand needs a north, centre and southern hub structure, which reflects where the population and trade base are [situated],” said chief executive Blair O’Keefe. “This is driven by commercial requirements. It’s important for the regional economy.”